Government
5:36 pm
Wed July 30, 2014

Quinn signs law expanding EpiPen administrators

School kids with food allergies can have their medication administered by someone other than a school nurse. As IPR’s Hannah Meisel reports, the governor signed a law Wednesday so that students won't have to wait for help.

Schools across Illinois increasingly don't have the funds to employ a full-time nurse. But under a 2011 law that allowed the use of epinephrine in schools for kids with food allergies, nurses were the only ones allowed to administer the drug, frequently given as a shot via EpiPen. Without a school nurse, kids are often sent to the emergency room, taking time and putting them at risk.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan's office worked on the legislation. She says even the school her children attend doesn't have a full-time nurse.

"Unfortunately, not all schools in the state of Illinois have school nurses and that's why it was important to us to expand this law to make sure other people can administer."

About 1 in every 13 children has a food allergy. However, many don’t realize it and have no EpiPen prescription.